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Elian Deserves a Better Family

What a Buncha of Nitwits in Miami

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 05, 2000.

You know, Elian Gonzales deserves a better family. I personally feel that this six year old should be put up for adoption in an environment better suited than his current one in Miami or his potential and former one in Cuba. I'm voting some Kosovo refugees. They're so much saner there.

It is hard not to launch into a vitriolic diatribe that sounds suspiciously chauvinistic and well, almost racist. But honest to God. If there is a group of people more melodramatic, more self-congratulatory, more self-serving, more totally ridiculous than the Cubans, especially the Miami Cubans, I'd hesitate to meet them. On the one hand, the younger Gonzales has his homeland, Cuba. Here we have a superannuated Great Leader who has propelled his nation……well, nowhere for forty-five years. Fidel Castro has long outlived his usefulness to his nation; he has simply remained el numero uno, refusing to allow anything to threaten his stature. There is seemingly little food but plenty of paint for pictures of himself on the sides of buildings. Handed Elian Gonzales as an issue, Castro immediately declared that the boy was in the hands of Miami degenerates, fiends in human form, who were pawns of the Mafia and Batista in their day and who had fled the island with their money and had spent the intervening years trying to get the United States to take back their homeland. He brought the boy's father with his new wife from his village to an exclusive community, Elian's parents being divorced. Castro organized mass demonstrations and seems to be elevating Elian into a sort of Saint or divine being, a cross between the Dalai Lama and St. Jerome. Castro says he will send the boy's father to the United States if a thirty-five person entourage can go with him. This includes classmates, teachers, and individuals probably there to prevent anyone from escaping. Then he says he will send just the father if the US promises he'll return with his son. Because Castro knows there are forces in the United States that want the boy returned to his father, Castro pretends they do not exist and leaves his nation with the ridiculous view that his will alone will bring the child home. You can see the parades now, with the signs thanking Castro. There's the compassionate leader for you.

In Miami, very distant relatives, most of whom had never seen the boy before, have enveloped the lad and spent months trying to buy his affection with puppies, trips to Disney World, and lots of press time. Heroic second and third cousins dress to the nines and allow themselves to be seen with the youth in happy circumstances. This could be just bad taste and crappy parenting at work, but it is much worse. They have told the boy his mother, who drowned with her new husband trying to reach Florida, might be alive and lost in Miami. Clearly, this was done in order to keep the child emotionally vectored in. In true delusional/perfidious mode , one elder has claimed that the Virgin Mary can recently be seen on a wall of the boy's room - a clear miracle and a sign that the child's presence in the United States is divinely ordained. They also treat the child as heavenly, and he has responded - as would any normal kid in these extreme circumstances - by becoming vaguely, well, spoiled. But he is also traumatized. Miami doesn't care. All they see is a club with which to stir up animosity against Castro, a fiend in human form, an evil despot who despite all their bluster is still there laughing at their impotence and posturing. Of course, Castro is impotent and posturing as well, and the world merely waits for his death for the island to return to its natural devolution anno 1899.

In the middle here, whatever you feel about the embargo against Cuba, is the US government, an entity that probably, truth be told, selfishly wishes all Cuban immigrants followed the example of Elian's Mom and drowned en-route. But if the Feds come for Elian, they had better have the father there so that the people pandering to the Cuban vote can't say here is the government kidnapping a child from his family. In fact, they're returning him to his family, unless we pretend that a great uncle is equivalent to a father.

In fact, we know the kid is probably better off here except for his loony relatives. It just isn't our decision. And the annoying PC questions remain. If his father had drowned taking him to the United States, would anyone deny his return to his mother in Cuba? If he were Iraqi, regardless of the dead parent's gender, would anyone want him to return there? If he were Haitian, would anyone notice? If he had died, his body found withered in the inner tube, would anyone be fighting over who got to bury him? You know, since they love him so much……

Elian Gonzales is six. He should have a parent's chronic and consoling love and support, not a bunch of posturing show boaters rendering themselves ludicrous, saying they will not obey the law to get their way, and threatening violence against those who want to return the kid to his father who may or may not arrive depending on the will of a vainglorious old man. Just the treatment for a traumatized child, a situation not improved by the bizarre visit of his grandmothers some weeks back.

One thing. At least in Cuba, he had his own room. In Miami, he sleeps with his cousins. Ask any child where the better deal is.

Kosovo. That's the ticket.